After “Section TV” took a look at the humble debuts of hot actors such as Song Joong Ki and Ryu Jun Yeol, Herald Pop recently took their own trip down memory lane and examined the career beginnings of 6 Hallyu stars.
Kim Soo Hyun shot to superstardom as the male lead in “My Love From The Star” but the young actor got his start in the 2007 sitcom “Kimchi Cheese Smile.” He played a supporting role and though he lacked a little of his current suavity, he more than made up for it with his fiery ambition.
Although almost everyone and their mother knows that Kim Woo Bin was originally a model, he made his acting debut in the KBS 2TV drama “White Christmas” in 2011. It wasn’t until the sitcom “Vampire Idol” that his talent really began to shine through, but he only played one of many servants to Lee Jung’s hero. Now Kim Woo Bin regularly helms movies and dramas, including the currently airing “Uncontrollably Fond,” and as of last year formed an industry power couple with actress Shin Min Ah.
Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin cemented their bromance while still relatively rookie actors in “School 2013,” but Lee Jong Suk actually debuted a year earlier than his friend in 2010’s “Prosecutor Princess.” However, you can spot him in a 2005 episode of SBS’s “Truth Game” where he appeared as a young model and gave everyone goosebumps with the cheesy line, “Noonas, don’t fall in love with me.” Now he puts his heart-stealing lines in the service of his manwha character in “W!”
Lee Min Ho instantly became a household name all over the world after he took on the male lead in the Hallyu legend “Boys Over Flowers.” The actor made his debut in 2006’s “Secret Campus,” which also happens to prove that the actor’s good looks have always been subject to the hair fashions of the time.
If you’ve seen the famous “Baker King, Kim Tak Goo,” it’s hard to believe that it was Joo Won’s debut drama. His emotional performance as the rival to Yoon Shi Yoon‘s Tak Goo, as well as his resemblance to Kang Dong Won, captured hearts all over the world. Joo Won was originally a musical actor and debuted in the musical “Altar Boyz” in 2006.
Yoo Ah In, who manages to pair an ageless baby face with seriously chilling acting chops, is a “10 million” actor (his film “Veteran” surpassed 10 million admissions at the box office). He made his debut as a cute student in the 2003 drama “Sharp #1,” starring alongside Go Ara as her boyfriend.
*This article has been edited for clarity.